154. The Principles of Possessing True Faith
1. True faith in God arises from believing in and knowing God’s words, and is established upon the foundation of understanding the truth and knowing God’s work;
2. In God’s words, you must focus on seeking to understand the truth, so as to know God’s work and produce faith and strength;
3. You must accept God’s judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and trials and refinement, so as to know God’s righteous disposition and produce a God-fearing heart;
4. Pray and seek the truth in all things, have real association with God, and enable people to have great faith in God and to truly have knowledge of Him by obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit.
Relevant Words of God:
In this stage of work great faith and great love are required of us. We may stumble from the slightest carelessness because this stage of work is different from all the previous ones. What God is perfecting is mankind’s faith—one cannot see or touch it. What God does is convert words to faith, to love, and to life. People must reach a point where they have endured hundreds of refinements and possess faith greater than Job’s. They need to endure incredible suffering and all kinds of torture without departing from God at any time. When they are obedient until the death, and have great faith in God, then this stage of God’s work is complete.
from “The Path … (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The process of knowing the words of God is the process of knowing God, and also the process of knowing the work of God. And so, knowing the visions not only refers to knowing the humanity of God incarnate, but also includes knowing the words and work of God. From the words of God people come to understand God’s will, and from the work of God they come to know God’s disposition and what God is. Belief in God is the first step to knowing God. The process of advancing from the initial belief in God to the most profound belief in God is the process of knowing God, and the process of experiencing the work of God. If you only believe in God for the sake of believing in God, and do not believe in God in order to know God, then there is no reality to your belief, and it cannot become pure—of this there is no doubt. If, during the process by which he experiences God, man gradually comes to know God, then his disposition will gradually change, and his belief will become increasingly true. In this way, when man achieves success in belief in God, he will completely gain God. God went to such great lengths to become flesh for the second time and personally do His work so that man would be able to know Him, and would be able to see Him. Knowing God[a] is the final effect to be achieved at the end of God’s work; it is God’s final requirement of mankind. He does this for the sake of His final testimony, and so that man may finally and completely turn to Him. Man can only love God by knowing God, and to love God he must know God. No matter how he seeks, or what he seeks to gain, he must be able to achieve the knowledge of God. Only in this way can man satisfy God’s heart. Only by knowing God can man truly believe in God, and only by knowing God can he truly revere and obey God. Those who do not know God shall never truly obey and revere God. Knowing God includes knowing God’s disposition, understanding God’s will, and knowing what God is. Yet whichever aspect of knowing God it is, each requires man to pay a price, and requires the will to obey, without which no one would be able to follow to the end.
from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You should have the right viewpoint of believing in God and seek to obtain God’s words. You need to eat and drink God’s words, and be able to live out the truth, and especially see His practical deeds, see His wonderful deeds throughout the entire universe, as well as the practical work He does in the flesh. Through their actual experiences, people can appreciate just how God does His work on them and what His will is toward them. All of this is to eliminate their corrupt satanic disposition. Rid yourself of the unclean and unrighteous inside of you, strip away your wrong intentions, and you can develop true faith in God. Only by having true faith can you truly love God.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The incarnate God has told you of every aspect of truth and bestowed upon you the way of truth and life. It would be foolish for you not to seek truth. Now you feel like you still fall far short, that there is too little truth within you, that you do not feel enriched within. This is because your entering in has been too superficial, and you do not yet have very deep experience. When you truly understand God’s word and enter into God’s word you will have energy, an energy that fills your body and cannot be fully expended. At that time, you’ll feel more and more bright inside, and the path will be brighter the farther you walk it. Most people now believe in God but have not yet entered the right track. They still feel very empty and listless, sometimes even feeling like all of living is suffering, all emptiness—even wishing to die. This is how a person is before his heart has vision. Such a person has not obtained truth and does not yet know God, so he still does not feel much internal pleasure. …when you truly obtain truth and come to know God you feel life should be lived for God. Not living for God is too regrettable: You would live out your life in bitter regret and extreme remorse. You can’t die yet. You must clench your fists and resolutely continue to live; you must live a life for God. When people have truth within them then they have this resolve and never again desire to die.… When people have truth, they have strength. When they have truth, their bodies are filled with inexhaustible energy. When they have truth, they have will. Without truth, they are like the limp dregs of tofu. With truth, they are firm and emboldened, and they do not feel their suffering as suffering no matter how much they endure.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
When God works to refine man, man suffers, his love of God becomes greater, and more of God’s might is revealed in him. The less man’s refinement, the less his love of God, and the less God’s might is revealed in him. The greater his refinement and pain and the more his torment, the deeper his true love of God will be, the more genuine his faith in God will be, and the deeper his knowledge of God will be. In your experiences you will see that those who suffer great refinement and pain, and much dealing and discipline have a deep love of God, and a more profound and penetrating knowledge of God.
When you have faith and you can touch His actions in your practical experience, God will appear to you, and He will enlighten and guide you from within. Without that faith, God will be unable to do that. If you have lost hope in God, how will you be able to experience Him? Therefore, only when you have faith and you do not harbor doubts toward God, only when you have true faith in Him no matter what He does will He enlighten and illuminate you in your experiences, and only then will you be able to see His actions. These things are all achieved through faith, and faith is only achieved through refinement—faith cannot develop in the absence of refinement. What does faith refer to? Faith is the genuine belief and the sincere heart that humans should possess when they cannot see or touch something, when God’s work is not in line with human notions, when it is beyond human reach. This is the faith that I speak of. People are in need of faith during times of hardship and refinement, and along with faith comes refinement. These are inextricable. No matter how God works or what kind of environment you are in, you will be able to pursue life, seek to have God’s work carried out within you, and pursue the truth. You will have an understanding of God’s actions and you will be able to act according to the truth. This is your genuine faith, and this shows that you have not lost hope in God. You will still pursue the truth in refinement, you will be able to truly love God and will not develop doubts of Him. No matter what He does, you will still practice the truth to satisfy Him, and you will be able to deeply seek out His will and be considerate of His will. Only this is true faith in God. Before, when God said that you would reign as a king, you loved Him, and when He openly showed Himself to you, you pursued Him. But now God is hidden, you cannot see Him, and troubles have come upon you. At this time, do you lose hope in God? So at all times you must pursue life and seek to satisfy God’s will. This is called genuine faith, and it is the truest and most beautiful kind of love.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Their deepest experience is awe and love, their feeling is that God is indeed wonderful. He does work that man is unable to do, He says things that man is unable to say. People who have experienced His work always experience an indescribable feeling. People with deeper experiences particularly love God. They always feel His loveliness, feel that His work is so wise, so wonderful, and this thereby generates infinite power among them. It is not fear or occasional love and respect, but deep feeling of God’s compassion and tolerance of man. However, people who have experienced His chastisement and judgment feel Him to be majestic and inviolable. Even people who have experienced a lot of His work are also unable to fathom Him; all people who truly revere Him know that His work is not in line with people’s notions but always goes against their notions. He does not need people to have full admiration or give the appearance of submitting to Him, but rather to have true reverence and true submission. In so much of His work, anyone with true experience feels reverence for Him, which is higher than admiration. People have seen His disposition due to His work of chastisement and judgment, and they therefore revere Him in their hearts. God is meant to be revered and obeyed, because His being and His disposition are not the same as those of a created being, and they are above those of a created being. God is a non-created being, and only He is worthy of reverence and submission; man is not qualified for this. So, all people who have experienced His work and truly known Him feel reverence toward Him.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Since you believe in God, you must hand over your heart before God. If you offer up and lay your heart before God, then during refinement it will be impossible for you to deny God, or leave God. In this way your relationship with God will become ever closer, and ever more normal, and your communion with God will become ever more frequent. If you always practice in this way, then you will spend more time in God’s light, and more time under the guidance of His words, there will also be more and more changes in your disposition, and your knowledge will increase day by day. When the day comes and God’s trials suddenly befall you, you will not only be able to stand by God’s side, but will also be able to bear testimony to God. At that time, you will be like Job, and Peter. Having borne testimony to God you will truly love Him, and will gladly lay down your life for Him; you will be God’s witness, and one who is beloved by God. Love that has experienced refinement is strong, and not weak. Regardless of when or how God subjects you to His trials, you are able to care not whether you live or die, to gladly cast aside everything for God, and to happily endure anything for God—and thus your love will be pure, and your faith real. Only then will you be someone who is truly loved by God, and who has truly been made perfect by God.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
After praying, the Holy Spirit will enlighten and illuminate people, and lead people, and will give people the faith and courage to put the truth into practice. Some people read the word of God every day and don’t produce these results. After they read God’s words, and they fellowship and communicate, their hearts will be bright, and they will have a path. If the Holy Spirit also gives you some moving, burdens and guidance, then it will be very different. If you are moved a little after merely reading God’s words, and you shed tears at the time, that moving will fade away after working for a while. If you have a tearful prayer, an earnest prayer or a sincere prayer, your energy will not go down three days after the prayer is over. Doesn’t everyone have this kind of experience? This is the result obtained from prayer. The purpose of prayer is so that people can come into the presence of God and receive the things God intends to give them. If you frequently pray and frequently come into God’s presence, then you will have a continual relation with God, and you will always be moved by Him, always receive His provisions; and therefore you will be transformed, your conditions will continually improve and will not regress. Especially when brothers and sisters join together in prayer. When the prayer is over, there is an exceptionally large amount of energy, everyone’s face is full of perspiration and they feel they gain a lot of things. In fact, after a few days of being together they haven’t communicated much, it was prayer that aroused their energy, and they wish that they could abandon their families and the world all at once, they wish that they could give up everything, all except for God. You see that their energy is so great. The Holy Spirit works to give people this power and people will never fully enjoy it!
from “The Significance and Practice of Prayer” in Records of Christ’s Talks
a. The original text reads “The work of knowing God.”